June 28th, 2009
11:32 AM ET
13 years ago

'Quit spending,' Pawlenty tells Obama

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Minnesota’s Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty took aim Sunday at the high price tag for President Obama’s ambitious plans to reform the nation’s health care system.

“The president said not long ago in an interview, quote-unquote, we are out of money,” Pawlenty told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King when asked whether the country could afford health care reform right now. “With all due respect Mr. President, if we’re out of money, quit spending it,” Pawlenty added.

“And, so no, we can’t afford it. This is a nation that has got a debt load and a deficit load that is unsustainable. We’re going to have, in my view, the federal government debt crisis equivalent of the mortgage crisis within 20 years.”

Pawlenty also said that he didn’t think the new administration was serious about addressing federal spending, notwithstanding the president’s recent emphasis on cleaning up the federal government’s fiscal situation.

The Republican also slammed a proposal favored by some Democrats for a public health insurance option as part of health care reform legislation.

“If you want to extend access, to people who are in need or at disadvantage, then give them some help directly – in the form of a voucher, in the form of a tax credit. And then give them good information about price and quality. And, at least for those who can function in the marketplace, let them go do that. That’s how you assist people in need who can’t afford health care.”

The public option contemplated by some Democrats is “another example of the partial … nationalization of an industry,” Pawlenty said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Not unlike in the mortgage industry, the banking industry, the auto industry, now the health care industry. Soon you’ll see that in the energy industry. This is a pattern with this administration of government encroaching into the private market.” Pawlenty said.

soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. ttofast70@comcast.net

    Why don't you let some more bridges collapse from neglect. How about you shut up grow a pair and seat a US Senato idiot.

    June 28, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. truthsayer

    John King enables the GOP again.....

    June 28, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Change in America

    The republican should have told that to Bush I am so tired of these whinning Republicans they act fools and cheating on there wives.

    Republicans are doom in 2012

    Vote Demoncrate 2010 and 2012

    June 28, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Andrew

    The Republicans almost ruined this country by serving their "masters"–the top 1% of wealth holders. Obama represents the future. Note to the GOP: you are irrelevant.

    June 28, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. larry

    It's too bad he didn't tell George Bush that....we wouldn't be in 2 wars and this crap hole of debt.

    June 28, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. TN

    What other countries have tried this and failed? Italy?Canada? Oh wait, those countries actually have free healthcare and with that, a people with longer lives than we have in America. And I personally know people in both of these countries who are happy to pay the extra 1% in taxes to be able to walk into ANY hospital and get quality care. Lift the wool from your eyes and see what the reality is, and what it CAN be.

    June 28, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. Mich

    Tyranny is what Obama knows take away your choice in Cars. Regulating your enegry prices. Giving more power to the Excutive branch of the country. Tyranny is what Obama knows.
    Spending is what Obama knows write a check know and worrie how to pay it later. This never worked for normal americans how is it going to work for the country.
    Killing jobs is what obama knows. Cap n Trade bill will destroy 2.5 jobs for every one clean energy job. Cap n Trade will cause increase at the Pump also. Cause increase in your electric bill.
    Of course Obama knows how to spend money because he has the dum down American Public to pay for it in taxs.
    After 8 years of Bush killing the Constitution I can't see how we can let Obama destroy the Constitution also.

    June 28, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. When will common Sense Take over

    Right....and the Democrats in Washington all live in low income housing. This isn't politics, it's all about economics.

    June 28, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. cappicola

    To the blog and comment moderators at CNN:

    Do you folks get a rush or high or just sophomoric satisfaction by selectively allowing a glut of pro-Obama bloggers to simply pile on anyone and everyone who disagrees with Obama's policies and behavior, by posting the same tired and worn-out insulting drivel, circuitous logic (illogic) and schoolyard nonsense? Aren't we all just a bit too old and aren't the issues confronting us today just a bit too important for a "Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah" mentality and ridiculous sentiments such as "We won!"?

    Is there no room on your site for actual discussion of the topic – sans the childish insults and boorishness – and civil, polite repartees among your readership?

    Just less than half of this Nation's voters voted against Mr. Obama, yet the posts that you "allow" to come through are giddily and resoundingly pro-Obama and spitefully and vulgarly anti-Republican and/or anti-anyone who dares to criticize Mr. Obama by a ratio of probably 8 or 9 to 1. To me, that smells worse than a three day old fish rotting in a garbage pail.

    So, your obvious partisan behavior begs the question: How can anyone possibly believe that CNN reports the true climate in America and around the world in an accurate and fair, unbiased fashion?

    I now regard CNN as being nothing more than a PR firm for the Obama administration.

    June 28, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Let's hope Republicans will be able to undo the damage being done now, by Obama, Pelosi, Frank, and the gang. Obama's election was a historic mistake.

    June 28, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. frisco,tx

    George Bush spend 5.5 trillion to destroy the country and the economy
    Obama spend 10 trillion to fix what George Bush destroyed
    you watch too much Fix news

    June 28, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  12. manhandler

    All these simplistic "blame the Republicans" goofballs should know that the Dems. OK'd every penny that Bush ever wanted to spend (including all the war spending) and added an immense amount of spending to it themselves.

    This country desperately needs alot more people saying "NO" right now, before these idiots in charge put us in such a hole that we'll never dig our way out. "NO" IS NOT A BAD THING!

    All these gasbage in Congress need to be given the boot. Every last goofy one of them....both Dems and Republicans. We all need to vote against EVERY incumbent in the next elections.

    June 28, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  13. grammy11

    Nobody said anything when the Bush Administration was spending in a way that would benefit himself and his cronies. Don't you wonder how much money they made from kick backs and profits from corporations like the big oil companies and the financial industry?

    June 28, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Nan

    BeefMasterX: Who will be in the white house in '12? It won't be the timid, spineless, uneducated lawyer from hawaii.

    Please it is ok to disagree with policies;but to call someone with Obama's level of intellect and education an uneducated lawyer only shows you are unaware and attack for the sole purpose of attacking. There is nothing in your post that shows you have any understanding of what is going on in the world. I do not mean to suggest that you are uneducated; only that you are posting remarks without regard to the topic just to anger and cause further divisions.

    June 28, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Peggy

    Pawlenty and the rest of the republicans are so out of touch with the average person they think that "tax credits" and tax cuts will fix everything. Since we are all paying for deluxe health care coverage for these people, they have no idea what it costs to buy it from insurance companies who are all about profit. I pay $400+/mo. for insurance that carries such a high deductible I can't even use it. And I'm "lucky" I can pay it. And $400 is cheap. So what's so bad about a "public option" you "public servants"? YOU are the beneficiaries of a "socialized" plan, but you want to deny the rest of us that choice? Get a grip on reality. The United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn't insure that ALL of its people have equal access to affordable, quality health care. Republicans need to get off their thrones and help do something about that.

    June 28, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Jim

    Laughable. A tax credit would do nothing to help people who are poor, disadvantaged, etc. and lacking health coverage. I find it amazing that anyone subscribes to this absurd notion that tax credits help anyone but the wealthy.

    June 28, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. 9corona

    Who cares if its a Dem or a Rep – they all cheat on their spouse's, take bribes and have forgotten who they serve – 2010 we vote the bum's out – I will make sure I vote in the party primaries and if the incumbent wins – I am voting for the other canidate.

    June 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. therealmarie

    Quit obstructing Obama tells Pawlenty. These fools always have a voice and home on CNN. Unwatchable.

    June 28, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  19. Ryan Wing

    Republicans spent just as much on things that didn't help the American people for 8 years.

    Lets get things fixed and working again, and then get our finances back in order.

    June 28, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. Mike

    Obama will quit spending when they quit outsourcing jobs.

    June 28, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. JonPeter

    Time for a few capable republicans to get Obama to rein in spending. Pawlenty, Ridge, Crist, even Schwarzennegger need to step up.

    I agree you need to invest to make money, but the investement has to be right sized and made wisely. If $10m gets the job done, you don't invest $20m or $30m. I agree the economy needs some stimulus, but that doesn't mean throwing money at problems willy-nilly.

    Neither the bank nor the auto bailout have been well thought out. For every dollar spent wisely $7 or 8 have been wasted. This dates back to the Bush/Cheney administration. There has not been enough transparency of expectations to the public. An example is Ford and Nissan have finall gott\en investment loans long after billions were squandered on GM and Chysler. Did it occur to the current and past adminsitrations that some moeny should have been spent on the healthier players to create future jobs.

    Similarly the banks have gotten loans to cover mistakes, but are not making loans at the expected rates, while paying themselves bonuses.

    There is no oversight. this isn't a democrat or republican problem, it is a gov't problem and we as the taxpayer pay for all these mistakes.

    June 28, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Republicans Are Like Beauty Queens That Got Last Place, they cry...and their moms complain about the judges.

    Quit spending!!! Because now that W. and Cheney are gone, Halliburton and KBR are not getting the cash!!!

    Go Obama! If you think we need to do it, DO IT!

    Its gonna take at least (8) years to get out of this mess it took us (8) years to get into!!!!!!

    June 28, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. Paul from Kissimmee

    I don't know if it's funny, or just plain sad, to watch this bumbling idiot of a President we have, and see the Obama followers stick up and defend this man's actions. Do you guys spend money when you're broke also? You should try it if you're a true follower. That's what your leader is doing. You stick up for him, but you wouldn't do what he's doing to manage your household. Thanks to the government, we now have a "car czsar" forcing dealerships that were profitable to close. We have N Korea telling the world that they'll wipe us off the map, and Iran smacking Obama in the mouth. Thanks alot.

    June 28, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. Kris

    The GOP stops telling Obama to quit spending. I am laughing so hard I fell off my chair. The repub spending is what has destroyed our country and hurt most of the worl'd economy and the have the nads to say to the Democratic Prez to wuit spending. What a joke. They have bankrupted our country beyond repair on Bush's personal agenda at making money off of oil and showing up his daddy, that he sacrificed us. Shut up Pawlenty.

    June 28, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. Student

    I'm very rich. There's no health care crisis. I dont know what you people are talking about. In fact, I can afford everything. Quit trying to fix things that aren't broken.

    Lets take all that money we blow on education and put it toward building up our military so we can wipe all those that disagree off the map. In fact, we should bring back the draft. We can cite our superior religiosity and morality. The poor are suckers for that sort of thing.

    June 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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